[pypy-dev] Talk in the Supercomputing Day, Madrid

Guillem Borrell i Nogueras guillem at torroja.dmt.upm.es
Mon Jan 12 12:10:50 CET 2009

Hi again

Let's discuss the details.

I'll try to explain why I've thought about pypy when planning the conference 

My work as Computational Fluid Dynamics researcher is intimately related to 
supercomputing for obvious reasons. Most of applications we work on are fine 
tuned codes with pieces that are more than twenty years old.  They are rock 
solid, fortan implemented, and run for hours in clusters of thousand of 
computing nodes.

Since the last couple of years computer architectures are becoming more and more 
complex. I'm playing with the cell processor lately and that little bastard is 
causing me real pain. While programming is easier every day, supercomputing is 
harder and harder.  Think about an arhitecture like the roadrunner, AMD Opteron 
PPU with PowerPC SPU... Two assemblers in one chip!

Talking with Stanley Ahalt (Ohio Supercomputing Center) about a year ago he 
called that the "software gap". In computing, as times goes, low performance is 
easier but high performance is harder. And that gap gets wider. Platform SDK are 
helpful but they are not a huge leap.

I've always thought that virtual machines could help supercomputing like they 
have helped grid and cloud computing.  This is the point where I need someone to 
proof if I am wright or wrong.  Pypy is the most versatile, albeit complex, 
dynamic language implementation. I've been following the project during the last 
year and a half or so and I am impressed. I've thought that you could have a 
vision on how interpreted languages and virtual machines can help managing 

In addition, most of postprocessing tools are written in matlab, an interpreted 
language.  Running not-so-high performance tasks in a workstation efficiently is 
sometimes as important as running a simulation in a 12000 node supercomputer. It 
yould be nice if someone would remind the audience that matlab is not the only 
suitable (or best) tool for that job.

I hope that I managed to explain the topics I'm interested in.

Those are the speakers that accepted the invitation at the moment:

* J.Mª. Cela, Computer Architecture Department, Universitat Politècnica de 
Catalunya and Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Future supercomputers, CFD 
applications and the Cell processor.

* Sun Microsystems. Distributed Filesystems and Lustre.

* S. Hoyas. School of Aeronautics. Universitat Politècnica de València. Running 
a supercompuingr simulation in more than 2000 processors.

I'm very interested in your comments.



El Friday 09 January 2009 19:34:21 holger krekel escribió:
> Hi Guillemi!
> thanks for mailing - this definitely sounds interesting to me.
> I discussed earlier today with Maciej Fijalkowski who is also
> interested to come.  So let's stay in contact and discuss details.
> cheers,
> holger
> On Fri, Jan 09, 2009 at 10:54 +0100, Guillem Borrell i Nogueras wrote:
> > Hello everyone
> >
> > My name is Guillem Borrell and I am a researcher in the Computational
> > Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in the School of Aeronautics, Universidad
> > Politécnica de Madrid.
> >
> > This year I'm in charge of organising the Supercomputing Day. Its aim is
> > to present in form of talks the recent and future developments in high
> > performance computing in science and engineering. It holds five talks,
> > open to anyone, on one day and we expect that it will take place on Agust
> > the 1st of 2009.
> >
> > Most of supercomputing software use static languages such as Fortran or C
> > but postprocessing is usually done in dynamic  languages, mostly matlab.
> > While it uses dynamic languages on a daily basis the scientific community
> > has almost never taken a look at what the virtual machines can offer in
> > terms of versatility, ease of use and performance.
> >
> > Pypy is now at the bleeding edge of dynamic language implementation and I
> > think that some of you can give some insight on what dynamic languages
> > (and pypy, of course) can offer in the field of supercomputing.  I know
> > that pypy is not only focused in performance but our intention is to get
> > an overview, not only to talk about a single project.
> >
> > My question is ¿Is some of the pypy developers interested in give such a
> > talk? If the answer is yes  ther's still plenty of time to think about
> > the details.
> >
> > I personall think that pypy is the most mind challenging software project
> > and this can be a little effort to present some of its achievements to a
> > broader audience.
> >
> > We have two confirmed talks at the moment.  The first one will be on
> > future microprocessor architecture development and the Cell architecture
> > in particular and the second one will be about distributed file systems
> > and Lustre.
> >
> > Sincerely yours.
> > --
> > guillem
> >
> > Guillem Borrell i Nogueras
> > Laboratorio de Mecánica de Fluidos Computacional
> > Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronáuticos
> > guillem at torroja.dmt.upm.es
> > Web: http://torroja.dmt.upm.es/guillem/blog
> > _______________________________________________
> > pypy-dev at codespeak.net
> > http://codespeak.net/mailman/listinfo/pypy-dev


Guillem Borrell i Nogueras
Laboratorio de Mecánica de Fluidos Computacional
Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronáuticos
guillem at torroja.dmt.upm.es
Web: http://torroja.dmt.upm.es/guillem/blog

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